Students Gear Up for Online Classwork

Photo courtesy South Pasadena Unified School District
SPUSD staff distributed Chromebooks this week to students in preparation for the Independent Study Distance Learning Program, which could extend through the end of the school year.

After being forced to start early, spring break is officially over for South Pasadena Unified School District students.
Starting Monday, those students will begin the district’s Independent Study Distance Learning Program, which was developed recently as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that has closed school districts across virtually the entire state. The district distributed Chromebooks to students last week who did not have their own devices at home.
Staffers maintained the 6-foot social distancing guidelines and wore masks and gloves during the distribution.
Any students who missed the scheduled distribution times are asked to email to set up an alternate checkout time with the SPUSD main office.
SPUSD presently has schools scheduled to reopen on Tuesday, May 5, although the district, in step with others, has repeatedly delayed its return dates. On Tuesday, the California Department of Education said it is unlikely students will return to school campuses this academic year due to ongoing safety concerns and needs for continued social distancing.
Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom, although falling short of issuing a statewide decree, also has told California residents to prepare for schools to be closed for the remainder of the current school year.
Many districts and private schools statewide got an early start on spring break when they began indefinite closures on Friday, March 13, as it became apparent how widespread the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to become. These closures were preceded by the NBA suspending the remainder of its season and other sports leagues following suit.
In the interim, districts have had to work out how to utilize an online distance learning program that does not run afoul of equal opportunity access guidelines that benefit students with disabilities and students who don’t have the means to achieve online learning. Internet access in particular has emerged as an issue, with libraries closing and restaurants such as Starbucks or McDonald’s that also offer free wireless internet access shuttering dining room service as a result of the pandemic.
Many districts have kept up with breakfast and lunch pickup programs for students in their boundaries.
For up-to-date information and for information of the distance learning program, visit